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    Society, Space and the Public Realm: Beyond Gated Individualism

    Corcoran, Mary (2012) Society, Space and the Public Realm: Beyond Gated Individualism. Irish Journal of Sociology, 20 (1). pp. 1-18. ISSN 0791-6035

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    A feature of late modern society is the economisation and privatisation of social life resulting in a decline in the public realm. Judt has observed that we are drifting toward a society of ‘gated individuals who do not know how to share public space to common advantage’ (2010: 216). Similarly Oldenburg (1989) has expressed concerns about the sustainability of third places – places that occupy the space between the marketplace, workplace and home place – in the modern era. He argues that ‘third places’ are being replaced by ‘non-places’ – places where individuals relate to each other purely in utilitarian terms. Non-places promote civil disaffiliation rather than civil integration. This article argues for an exploration of the ‘spaces of potential’ within the public realm of the city that can help to promote relationships of trust, respect and mutuality. Acknowledging and promoting such ‘spaces of potential’ amounts to a challenge to the privatisation and economisation of social life. Moreover, it creates the possibility of a reinvigorated public sphere and an enhancement of civil integration.

    Item Type: Article
    Keywords: economisation; privatisation; social life; decline; public realm; society; gated individuals; third places; non-places; spaces of potential;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Sociology
    Item ID: 8956
    Identification Number:
    Depositing User: Prof. Mary Corcoran
    Date Deposited: 06 Nov 2017 15:13
    Journal or Publication Title: Irish Journal of Sociology
    Publisher: Sage Publications
    Refereed: Yes
    Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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